Harrogate set for 13th Countryside Live

Hon. Director Charles Mills gets ready to welcome the crowds
Hon. Director Charles Mills gets ready to welcome the crowds

Thousands of visitors are expected to descend upon Harrogate’s Great Yorkshire Showground this weekend for the 2015 edition of Countryside Live.

The show, - billed as the ‘little sister’ to the annual Great Yorkshire Show blockbuster - runs on Saturday, October 17 and Sunday, October 18.

This year will be the first Countryside Live that Charles Mills has hosted as Honorary Show Director after taking over from Bill Cowling earlier this year.

Organisers are promising a new look and all-new features for crowds to enjoy as the show marks its 13th year.

Mr Mills said: “It’s my first show and that makes it exciting.

“I’ve been involved in the past in Countryside Live. I was a cattle steward so that obviously is going to be a part that I enjoy.

“I will be equally excited as the rest of the public.”

Mr Mills said that regular visitors will notice a new layout.

He explained: “We have the livestock in the marquees, the sheep have their own marquee, which means it should be a bit more spacious.”

Bringing a wintry touch to the traditional country show, the event will also feature Bjorn the Polar Bear and his Arctic pal, Ursula the explorer.

But crowds can also be certain that their regular favourite features will be maintaining a firm presence too.

With everything from the fruit and vegetable show and have-a-go archery to ferret racing and birds of prey demonstrations the event is hoped to give visitors a taste of the country - and a bit more.

Mr Mills said: “The wonderful ‘Diggerland’ experience attracts many of the older generations as well as the younger ones.

“There is something for young children and for grandparents.

“It covers the whole spectrum of the public and we hope to show the public a little bit of countryside life.”

There was a a record breaking number of visitors to Countryside Live in 2013 and this year Mr Mills is hopeful another record might be broken this year.

He said: “It would be great to think more people will come.

“It will be a wonderful day for families and it would be nice to see an increase on last year but we just need good weather and the forecast is good so do come along!”

But record figures for this years event have already been made in the ever-popular equine section of the show.

After the Northern Show Cross finals were introduced three years ago, this weekend will see some 100 individuals take part - an entry number higher than ever before.

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